Undoubtedly, the Vietnam War Era was a tough time for the country in general. Families in the States & soldiers overseas each fought the war in their own way. For the Addington family, the war is with them every day. Grayson Addington has left his wife, Piper, daughter, Sadie, & his terminally ill mother in West Virginia while serving as a Chaplain in Vietnam.
Gray has seen things no human eye should ever witness. What he doesn’t know is that there is an equally sinister war waging in his hometown. He returns with a severe case of PTSD. Greeting him at home is a family in turmoil.
In Sadler Hollow, a town without indoor plumbing yet, a young girl abruptly shows up on Piper’s doorstep. No identification, no memory, & a heart of gold is all Maggie has brought with her. Striking up a deep, personal connection to the Addington family, Maggie is especially protective of two-year old Sadie. Upon her arrival, Piper takes note of her bruised body. Believing she’s a runaway, Piper accepts her as her own. But, where did she come from? Her presence seems to deeply disturb Grayson. But why?
Carter, Grayson’s brother, has set his mind to fill Grayson’s role on the home front. Grayson’s unexpected, early return frustrates his plans & he makes a horrific decision. Meanwhile, the coal company’s activities on the mountain above Salder Hollow begin to have environmental consequences. When Maggie begins to have dreams about a Black Monster chasing them, she urges the family to take Sadie elsewhere. No one wants to heed her warning. Can this family be saved?
Ninie Hammon has packed so much into one book that it’s hard to narrow it down to a simple synopsis. Every ounce of the novel is bursting at the seams. Vietnam & Sadler Hollow are spilt into 2 settings with flashbacks as well as present tense. Both are almost characters themselves. Some elements of the book are deeply emotional, especially the scenes in Vietnam. The author evenly portrays feelings of the War in a bi-partisan way. Grayson’s PTSD is accurately portrayed as well.
Though at times, the book was a bit more lengthy than it needed to be, it was very hard to put down. Each character forces the reader into an emotional attachment. It’s well worth any investment in time spent reading it. In fact, the plot & characters will stay with you for days after the last page. There are a lot of ‘oh, my gosh’ moments. Definitely, a recommended read, I have to award it 5 stars.